Graniti mural residency. Grazie mille to our gracious hosts Salvatore Romano, Karin Meier, Richard Ralya and to the wonderful people of Graniti, Sicily for this opportunity and for making us feel so welcome.
Deb’s mural is located in La Terraza and is an abstract love letter to the town and people of Graniti, inspired by Italian artist Alighiero Boetti. She chose to wrap her design around a corner and to incorporate the stairs adjacent to her wall. Deb’s husband Rob was a very helpful assistant with painting and cleaning the area. The addition of murals to this part of town is helping the community revitalize this terraced, scenic park area that had been let deteriorate. Deb’s vibrant colours and warm hearted message is certainly helping to do just that.
Morgane's mural was located on an empty house at the base of the steps leading to La Terazza. She needed a large scaffolding installed by the wonderful local residency volunteers. Morgane's charming work reflected the warm maternal energy she felt around Graniti. It features a large, protective Medusa/Mother Earth figure, embracing the many local street cats, surrounded by a cascade of anchovies and stylized pine trees seen on the hills around the town.
Jenn had the longest wall to paint at 67'. It was located in the play area of La Terrazza. She spent a lot of time considering her beautiful palette of colours. Jenn's mural titled "Shifting and Revealing", is a self portrait of sorts including a series of masks representing local fauna she encountered in Graniti. The masks are strung together and opened by a long red ribbon held by two hummingbirds representing Vancouver.
Jenn also wrote a poem to accompany her mural:
-Shifting and Revealing-
Was it the Church bell’s random song?
Or the dog’s warning as I tread along?
Was it those subtle ways, so helpful yet frightening?
Warm inviting gazes, windows to uncharted places?
Was it the frigid wind, that awoke me and lifted me up higher?
Floating towards the mountains
Painted under a Sicilian sky
Rosemary created an installation as her contribution to the residency. She transformed an abandoned courtyard on via Puccini in lower town that was being used as a garbage dump. Bags and bags of refuse were removed and Rose incorporated only a few re-treasured elements she found on site to assemble her final work. The evening of the inauguration Nessun Dorma (by Puccini) was played for the audience creating a profoundly moving atmosphere.
Melanie's wall was located at the top of a street and came with a lot of built in 'character' to work with. She was inspired by the plentiful local cactus plants and their prickly pear fruit- 'fici di India'. Melanie created her design around the beautiful crumbling textured parts of the wall and carried bit's of her design onto random stones and step stones leading up to the mural. If you look closely you will find a Canadian maple leaf, a Sicilian crest and subtle messages in this whimsical mural. Melanie's vibrant rainbow coloured palate can't help but make you smile.
Angela Joelle Gooliaf
Angela's long wall was located along a stretch of the Terazza with a beautiful view across the valley. Her mural was a playful celebration of flora and fauna of Sicily replete with bouganvilia, birds and butterflies. Angela worked in black and white to create a giant colouring mural and then held an interactive day for the local children and their parents to come help her colour it. The children took direction very well- even with the limited Italian English communication - and they took great care to colour within the lines.
This was Joanne's second mural residency in Graniti. She enjoyed it so much the first time that decided she wanted to return, this time with a group of fellow Canadian artists. The beautiful pine forest on the hills that surround Graniti were Joanne's subject matter this time and she did an amazing job capturing their striking shapes and stature as her mural is three stories high and a story off the ground. She had to work hard climbing up and down on her scaffolding to complete the magnificent tall landscape.
Tannis's wall was tucked away in a quiet shady area near one of the town churches. It used to be part of a fish holding tank and food shop years ago so it was appropriate that her subject was a joyful celebration of Sicilian food. Tannis made stops in Palermo and Catania en route to Graniti so she could visit the major food markets to get an authentic feel for her subject. She chose a traditional highly decorated Sicilian cart with driver and horse as a 'Pandora's box' from which blossoms a bounty of typical local produce, cheeses, animals, nuts, breads, sweets and fish of course. Tannis was very touched by the thoughtful and generous expression of appreciation by members of the family who owned the building.
Sheree's wall was on a very busy street in the centre of town. She made swift friends with the florist and with the patrons (mostly men) who watched from the patio of the local bar. In her first week in Graniti, Sheree looked for locations to paint en plein air and found her 'secret garden' which became the inspiration for her mural. Her methodical approach is shown in three segments; her colour palette, the grisaille underpainting establishing tonal values and the fully rendered landscape painting. While not everyone knows the location of her secret garden they can all enjoy it's lush and colourful beauty through Sheree's mural.
Alison's mural was the highest location in Graniti at the very end of the Terazza park. She chose the wall of a public washroom facing the forested hills above the town. Alison has a passion for avian subject matter and had researched Sicilian birds before arriving. Her airy feeling mural design features two endangered partridges sitting on the branches of an orange tree. A few workers surround the tree winding the red ribbon around the trunk while a catch of local fish and large flask of olive oil flank either side. Alison worked long hours on her mural but had many local visitors bringing her edible gifts.
Carol's wall was located by a staircase in the lower part of town. The surface was badly crumbling so had to be repaired before she could begin work. Carol's mural subject came from observations she made while travelling before arriving in Graniti. While a couple of figures look on others are absorbed in their phones. Carol's mural causes one to pause and consider the need to really be present in life and to appreciate where you are. While local olive branches frame the scene in the background there is a doorway leading where Carol's dog sits gazing into the darkness.
Lori's work appears on several walls within the town - two very crumbly ones facing each other on a narrow street and another triangular section in the Terrazza area near Angela and Jenn's. Lori works in black and white focussing on intuitive free spirited line work without the distraction of colour. She depicts beautiful butterfly like wings representing a journey of self discovery, self reflection and transformation. No matter where in the world this would be it holds a universal meaning.